Arts Music Culture Tamilnadu

Music and Dance of Tamilnadu,
Arts and Culture of Tamil Nadu

Tamilnadu has deep rooted traditions of music, dance, folk arts and crafts, which are usually performed during festivals and fairs. Some of the main arts music dance forms of Tamil Nadu are here.

Bharat Natyam

Bharat Natyam, one of the highly appreciated dance forms of Tamil Nadu, was originated in the tenth century. It is a classical form of dance performed in rhythmic collage of Bhava, Raga and Tala, in bright and colorful costumes and ornaments. It was once performed by the Devadasis in the temples of South India, but today it is in its height of glory. Bharat Natyam personifies the spiritual charm of the paradise on the materialistic earth.

Kaavadi Aatam

The Kavadi is made of bamboo strips and a light pole. Carrying the kavadi, the ancient people of Tamilnadu, went to pilgrimage singing devotional songs.  Kaavadi aatam is one of the main arts music culture Tamilnadu. 

Bommalaattam (Puppetry)

Bommalaattam forms of dances are held in rural areas during fairs and festivals depicting stories mainly from the puranas, epics and folklore. The artists stand behind screen and manipulate the puppets through strings or wires.


Karagaattam is a very popular dance balancing a decorated pot topped by a paper parrot on the head with musical accompaniment.Both male and female artists participate in this dance. When the artist swings according to the music the parrot on top too swingswhich is wonderful to watch.

Poikkal Kudirai Aattam (Dummy Horse Dance)

The dancer puts on the dummy figure of a horse on his hips. This dummy is made of lightweight materials and the cloth at the sides of the dummy swings to and fro covering the legs of the performer. While performing the dance, the dancer brandishes either a sword or a whip.


Performed in the streets in the open air, with special costumes, during village festivals in the months of Panguni and Aadi, Therukoothu involves story telling, songs, dance and dialogue rendering. The performances are based on stories from Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the local folklore.

Snake Dance

Young girls, dressed in a tight- fitting snake-like costume, perform the snake dance, stimulating the movements of snake, writhing and creeping and making quick biting movements. These are done for the welfare and happiness of the family, with the strong belief in snakes.


This joyous form of dance is performed by girls dressed like a peacock from head to toe complete with a beak. Mayilattam is performed as a symbol of prosperity during the harvest festival 'Pongal'.

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